Monday, March 17, 2014
What's next for the Buccaneers?
By Pat Yasinskas
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued their free-agent frenzy Sunday by signing two players that are likely to fill roles as backups.
The Bucs signed former New England linebacker Dane Fletcher and former Cleveland guard Oniel Cousins.
Fletcher has been a backup middle linebacker and special-teams player for New England and is likely to play behind Mason Foster. Cousins was a part-time starter in Cleveland and he could factor into Tampa Bay’s overhaul of the offensive line. The Bucs previously released veterans Davin Joseph and Donald Penn and signed tackle Anthony Collins and center Evan Dietrich-Smith.
Cousins could get a chance to compete with Jamon Meredith and Jeremy Zuttah at guard.
The first wave of free agency is over and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been very active. They’ve filled a lot of needs, but the Bucs aren’t done yet.
Looking at the roster, I still see a fair amount of needs. Let’s take a look.
Wide receiver. The Bucs flirted with Emmanuel Sanders before he signed with the Denver Broncos. The Bucs need to add a speed receiver to go with starters Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams.
Return man. The Bucs need to get better on special teams. Veteran Devin Hester, who has ties to coach Lovie Smith, remains available as a free agent.
Cornerback. Even after signing Alterraun Verner, there still is a need here. The Bucs need a strong third corner to go with Verner and Johnthan Banks.
Guard. The Bucs have added guard Oneil Cousins, center Evan Dietrich-Smith and tackle Anthony Collins as they go about overhauling their offensive line. With Dietrich-Smith’s arrival, Jeremy Zuttah could move from center to guard. But Cousins has spent much of his career as a backup and the Bucs might want more of an upgrade at this position.
Outside linebacker. Jonathan Casillas was re-signed and he’s an option on the strong side. But the Bucs need depth and they’d be wise to bring in someone to compete with Casillas.